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Breccia is rock composed of other rock fragments that have been cemented together. Though it sometimes is stable, breccia is often hideously loose even though it is beautiful to look at, as it often forms spectacular cliffs and spires. The rock often looks like a knob-studded conglomerate seemingly made for climbing, but those knobs pull out easily and frequently, making climbing on them treacherous. Some hardened Wyoming mountaineers refer to the substance as "kitty litter." The name fits, as anyone who has climbed on it can surely attest.
Breccia is a dominant rock type on many of the peaks in the southwestern Absarokas. This sample is on Two Ocean Mountain, where the breccia is better for climbing than it is on some other peaks but still far from a delight.
Absaroka Range, WY-- June 2009